Mixtures, Molecules, and Many-Body Physics
Start date: Apr 1, 2014,
End date: Mar 31, 2019
In 2009 my research team created the first Bose-Einstein condensate of strontium. This breakthrough is the foundation of my research program, which will investigate quantum many-body phenomena with a focus on quantum magnetism and physics related to the quantum Hall effect. We are especially interested in studying unusual, strongly correlated quantum states, among them states with topological order.The unique properties of strontium make it ideally suited to follow four different approaches to this physics.1) We will immerse our quantum gas into artificial gauge fields, which e.g. let neutral atoms behave as if they were charged particles in a strong magnetic field. These fields will allow us to study quantum Hall states or topological insulators.2) We will study SU(N) magnetism, which is an unusual form of magnetism not found in condensed matter, but of high interest for theory. A high degree of frustration can lead to spin liquid behaviour.3) We will use sympathetic Pomeranchuk cooling of a potassium spin mixture by fermionic strontium to reach low entropy quantum phases. Our goal is to study magnetically ordered states and frustrated antiferromagnetism.4) We will create RbSr ground-state molecules, which are polar, open-shell molecules. They will allow us to engineer unique quantum-many body systems with long-range interactions, e.g. lattice-spin models that can support topological states.We will pursue this research not only on our existing Rb/Sr quantum gas mixture apparatus, but we will construct a new K/Sr quantum gas microscope. This machine will be very valuable to explore exotic quantum states. The properties of strontium will enable an innovative single-atom detection method based on shelving in a metastable state and quench cooling, which will allow us to take internal state-resolved, 3D, or super-resolution images of the lattice gas.
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